STAKE by KEVIN J.ANDERSON

Stake by [Kevin J. Anderson]

Vampire hunter or serial killer? That depends on whether vampires exist . . .

Simon Helsing (not his real name) does believe. He has proof. And one by one he is staking them out. Literally.

Since a near-death experience in Bosnia years ago, he has tried to warn people about the dreaded lampir. Not many people believe him, but he keeps on killing them. They all work at night. That seems to be his main piece of evidence. He is also a contributor to the online chatroom HideTruth.

HideTruth is the brainchild of Lexi Tarada. She wants to believe and is looking for proof of the unexplained. There are some nutjobs on there, but Simon reaches out to her with proof that vampires are real.

The police have bodies and no belief in vampires. Detective Carrow is sure Simon is a serial killer. When the Vampire King (in Simon’s mind) throws his annual gala, it seems a good time for Lexi, Carrow, and Simon to come together. But not all of them are coming out alive.

This felt rushed to me and the ending was abrupt and left me with a lot of questions.

 

NetGalley/ Severn House

 

 

THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS by STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES

The Only Good Indians

The Only Good Indians is the story of four American Indian men.

Something very disturbing happened to them when they were much younger. Something that haunts them to this day and puts them in danger of being killed by some entity bent on having revenge for the act they committed.

I am very familiar with the North Dakota reservations and the treatment of the Native Americans there. These men left their culture and lives behind to try and escape the bleakness of life on the rez.

This is a story of cultures lost, guilt, shame, and violence. It was at times difficult to read, but I did.

At times I was lost. At times I was terrified. And in the end, I cried.

NetGalley/ July 14th, 2020 by Gallery / Saga Press

 

Totally Winging It Right Now

Piratepatty

Monday morning sunshine! We saw so many baby ducklings over the weekend. We were able to get out to the lake and catch some sun and watch people having secret meetings and smooches while napping and watching the boats.

Since our gym is closed OU Boy bought me a bicycle. And I am in awe over how well he knows me. It’s Rose Gold with a cup holder and a phone holder with a small insulated cooler on the front. It’s got gears but I don’t know what they are for yet. But y’all it is so much fun! I went and bought him one! I tore that parking lot up! And then storms came. And they stayed a long time. My poor plants were being tossed around outside, but it is tornado season and this weekend my poor Mississippi was tossed! Luckily our fam is okay.

You can tell this forced distance is making us all loopy. I bought an Insta Vortex 7 in 1 Air Fryer thingy. It’s pretty. I made ‘fried’ chicken in it and it was delicious. No fat, no shrinkage, just yum. OU Boy made bacon yesterday and my house didn’t smell, there was no smoke or grease everywhere.

We played Dominoes, and Scrabble. I hate Scrabble. I am OCD. With dominoes everyone knows to keep the lines straight. Scrabble is just a new mess with every word. We played Rummy and I won. I always win. And now we are feeling 100 percent after 6 weeks and I’m bored AF! I’m supposed to be looking at outdoor furniture for the condo but instead ordered some shoes and shorts.

I don’t know about the rest of y’all but I decided I should try on my skinny jeans just to be sure I wasn’t eating my emotions…or too much cake. At first I was alarmed and then OU Boy told me I was still wearing leggings and bike shorts. Oh, well we may have lost some brain cells.

Today I’m washing all of the pillows. That is how bored I am. Could I be reading? Why yes, Karen, I could. But I finished the new James Patterson-J.D.Barker book,  The Cross -Country Murders, and it’s going to take me a few days to come down from that! Y’all know I love me some Barker horror. Combine that with Patterson’s experience and all I will say is September is looking good.

I tried to find a hobby. I have a basket full of crochet hooks and yarn. Turns out my favorite things are going out to eat, buying things in the store and touching my face. I haven’t discovered any new skills, I’m not baking anything because the gym is closed. Everything is clean. And this must be what prison is like. Trading sex for a ride in the car.

Stay Safe! Stay Sane!

xx P

She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be by J.D. Barker

She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be

Jack Thatch lost his parents when he was just a toddler in a horrific car accident that he still has nightmares about. Or are they memories? Stella has also lost her parents. David’s parents died as well. But why? And how are they all connected? It will scare the daylights out of you!

Since then he has lived with his Aunt Jo. Every year on the anniversary of their deaths Jo and Jack go to the cemetery and spend time with his parents. Jo is adamant about this. August 8th of every year. They read out loud what the tombstones say and then Jack wanders around.

It’s on one of these walkarounds that eight-year-old Jack meets eight-year-old Stella. Sitting on a bench wearing full-length gloves like an old woman going to the opera. Her chaperone ( and let’s use that term very loosely for now) doesn’t like Jack and makes it known. But something about Stella draws Jack in. And for years they meet up on August 8th in the cemetery to chat.

Jack is obsessed with Stella. Why only once a year and on that date? Who are all of the people surrounding her in the white coats and cars?

When his Aunt Jo dies early of cancer, Jack is left a very wealthy man with his elderly neighbor lady keeping track of him for the few months he has left until he turns 18.  But Jack is still trying to figure out what really happened to his parents and he knows Jo knew.

There were so many different things going on in this long book! Conspiracy Theories, kids with scary powers that gave me chills!

This is Barker at his best! Scaring the life out of me. I could not put it down once I started reading it. There’s Suspense, Mysteries, Mob Crime, FBI, and even Pharmaceutical Crimes!

My favorite thing was at the end when Barker said he needed a break from the darkness of the Monkey books so he wrote this one. I would love to spend one day in this man’s head! Bravo!

Full Five Star Review!

NetGalley/ March 31st, 2020 by Hampton Creek Press

 

 

 

THE KILL CLUB by WENDY HEARD *BLOG TOUR*

The Kill Club by Wendy Heard

Jazz is a bad-ass. She’s had a hard life and now she is doing everything in her power to protect her little brother from their foster mother, Carol, a religious nutjob who decides the boy doesn’t need his diabetic medication as God is going to heal him.

As Jazz takes on beatings and sneaks the boys’ meds to his teacher or through the bars of his window, things are getting worse. Then she gets a call from an unknown number and learns that she isn’t alone and there could be an end to Carol’s reign of terror.

All she has to do is kill someone. Can she do that? Learning about an underground group calling themselves The Blackbirds, they kill a stranger and a stranger kills their problem. Sound familiar?  Strangers on a Train?

There is a lot at stake in this thriller and the author has made Jazz very real and vulnerable, but also very brave.

Heard is so great at the build-up that by the end of the book you hope you have a fingernail left!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ December 17th, 2019 by MIRA

Today is our stop on the Blog Tour for The Kill Club by Wendy Heard! Here is a little taste!

THE CEILING ABOVE the crowd sparkles with strings of golden lights. They twinkle just bright enough to
illuminate the faces. I adjust a microscopic issue with my toms and run my fingers through my bangs,
straightening them over my eyes. The guys are tuning up, creating a clatter of discordant notes in the
monitors. When they’re done, they approach my kit for our usual last-minute debate about the setlist.
Dao humps his bass in his ready-to-play dance, black hair swishing around his shoulders. “Dude, stop,”
Matt groans and readjusts the cable that connects his Telecaster to his pedalboard.
“Your mom loves my dancing,” Dao says.
“You dance like Napoleon Dynamite,” Matt retorts.
“Your mom dances like Napoleon Dynamite.”
Andre raises his hands. “Y’all both dance like Napoleon Dynamite, and so do both your moms, so
let’s just—”
I wave a stick at them. “Guys. Focus. The sound guy is watching. We’re three minutes behind.” I
have no patience for this shit tonight. This all feels extra and stupid. I should be doing something to help
Joaquin. His dwindling supply of insulin sits at the front of my brain like a ticking clock.
The guys get into their spots, the distance between them set by muscle memory. Andre leans
forward into the mic and drawls, “Arright DTLA, lez get a little dirty in here.” His New Orleans accent
trickles off his tongue like honey.
The room inhales, anticipates, a sphere of silence.
“Two three four,” I yell. I clack my sticks together and we let loose, four on the floor and loud as
hell. I’m hitting hard tonight. It feels great. I need to hit things. My heart beats in tempo. My arms fly
through the air, the impact of the drums sharp in my joints, in my muscles, the kick drum a pulse
keeping the audience alive. This is what I love about drumming, this forcing of myself into the crowd,
making their hearts pound in time to my beat.
Dao fucks up the bridge of “Down With Me” and Andre gives him some vicious side-eye. The
crowd is pressed tight up against the stage. A pair of hipsters in cowboy hats grabs a corresponding pair
of girls and starts dancing with them. I cast Dao an eye-rolling look referring to the cowboy hats and he
wiggles his eyebrows at me. I stomp my kick drum harder, pretending it’s Carol’s face.
The crowd surges back. Arms fly. A guy in the front staggers falls. A pair of hands grip the
stage and a girl tries to pull herself up onto it.
Matt and Dao stop playing. The music screeches to a halt.
“What’s going on?” I yell.
“Something in the pit,” Dao calls back.
Andre drops his mic and hops down into the crowd. Dao and Matt cast their instruments aside
and close the distance to the edge of the stage. I get up and join them. Together, we look down into the
pit.

A clearing has formed around a brown-haired guy lying on the floor. Andre and the bouncer
squat by him as he squirms and thrashes, his arms and legs a tangle of movement. Andre’s got his phone
pressed to his ear and is talking into it urgently. The bouncer is trying to hold the flailing man still, but
the man’s body is rigid, shuddering out of the bouncer’s grip. He flops onto his back, and I get a good
look at his face.
Oh, shit, I know this guy. He’s a regular at our shows. He whines and pants muffled words
gargling from his throat. Some of the bystanders have their phones out and are recording this. Assholes.
The man shrieks like a bird of prey. The crowd sucks its whispers back into itself, and the air
hangs heavy and hushed under the ceiling twinkle lights.
Andre is still talking into his phone. The bouncer lifts helpless hands over the seizing man,
obviously not sure what to do.
I should see if Andre wants help. I hop down off the stage and push through the crowd. “Excuse
me. Can you let me through? Can you stop recording this and let me through?”
I’m suddenly face-to-face with a man who is trying to get out of the crowd as hard as I’m trying
to get into it. His face is red and sweaty, his eyes wild. “Move,” he orders me.
Dick. “You fucking move.”
“Bitch, move.” He slams me with his shoulder, knocking me into a pair of girls who cry out in
protest. I spin, full of rage, and reverse direction to follow him.
“Hey, fucker,” I scream. He casts a glance over his shoulder. “Yeah, you! Get the fuck back
here!”
He escalates his mission to get out of the crowd, elbowing people out of his way twice as fast.
I’m smaller and faster, and I slip through the opening he leaves in his wake. Just before he makes it to
the side exit, I grab his flannel shirt and give him a hard yank backward. “Get the fuck back here!” I’m
loose, all the rage and pain from earlier channeling into my hatred for this entitled, pompous asshole.
I know I should rein it in, but he spins to face me and says, “What is your problem, bitch?” And
that’s it. I haul back and punch him full in the jaw.
He stumbles, trips over someone’s foot and lands on his ass on the cement floor. His phone goes
clattering out of his hand, skidding to a stop by someone’s foot. “The hell!”
“Oh, shit,” cries a nearby guy in a delighted voice.
“Fucking bitch,” the guy says, and this is the last time he’s calling me a bitch. I go down on top of
him, a knee in his chest. I swing wild, hit him in the jaw, the forehead, the neck. He throws an elbow; it
catches me in the boob and I flop back off him with a grunt of pain. He sits up, a hand on his face, and
opens his mouth to say something, but I launch myself off the ground again, half-conscious of a chorus
of whoops and howls around us. I throw a solid punch. His nose cracks. Satisfaction. I almost smile.
Blood streams down his face.
“That’s what you get,” I pant. He crab-shuffles back, pushes off the ground and sprints for the
exit. I let him go.

My chest is heaving, and I have the guy’s blood on my hand, which is already starting to ache
and swell. I wipe my knuckles on my jeans.
His phone lights up and starts buzzing on the floor. I pick it up and turn it over in my hand. It’s an
old flip phone, the kind I haven’t seen in years. The bright green display says Blocked.
Back in the pit, the man having a seizure shrieks again, and then his screams gurgle to a stop. I
put the phone in my pocket and push through the onlookers. I watch as his back convulses like he’s
going to throw up, and then he goes limp. A thin river of blood snakes out of his open mouth and trails
along the cement floor.
The room echoes with silence where the screams had been. A trio of girls stands motionless,
eyes huge, hands pressed to mouths.
The flip phone in my pocket buzzes. I pull it out, snap it open and press it to my ear. “Hello?”
A pause.
“Hello?” I repeat.
A click. The line goes dead.
A set of paramedics slams the stage door open, stretcher between them. “Coming through!”
They kneel down and start prodding at the man curled up on the concrete. His head flops back. His eyes
are stretched wide and unseeing, focused on some point far beyond the twinkling ceiling lights.
Next to him on the concrete lies something… What is it? It’s rectangular and has red and—
It’s a playing card.

Excerpted from The Kill Club by Wendy Heard, Copyright © 2019 by Wendy Heard. Published by MIRA
Books.

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THE DEAD GIRLS CLUB by DAMIEN ANGELICA WALTERS

The Dead Girls Club

 

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

It’s 1991 and Heather, her best friend Becca and their two other friends are obsessed with serial killers, and all things macabre.
Becca is the storyteller of the group and comes up with some seriously scary tales. But the one keeps coming back. The Red Lady. Once a witch murdered by her own town while not one of her friends speaks up for her. Revenge quickly follows with the entire town dying.

Becca believes the story and even makes a believer out of Rachel and Gia, the other girls in the Dead Girls Club. But Heather is sure there is no such thing. Until something happens and she begins to doubt herself and Becca.

With Becca believing all she needs is her best friends help her to prove the Red Lady is real, Heather swears to help her. And then Becca is dead and Heather will never be the same.

Fast forward 30 years and strange things are happening. Heather is sure she is being followed. When half of a BFF necklace shows up in the mail, Heather is sure of one thing. Someone knows what she did. Someone knows she killed her best friend and now they are coming for her.

This was a ghost story in the best way! A group of young girls, obsessed with Stephen King and Ted Bundy equally, mess with magic and a long-dead witch when the real horror is much closer and alive than they know.

I love a good ghost tale! And this one I read in 3 hours even eating dinner while reading. I had to know what was real and what wasn’t. And I never saw that ending coming at all! I suspected everyone and all for good reasons, but wow, that ending!

NetGalley/December 10th, 2019 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

 

BEYOND THE GATE by MARY SANGIOVANNI (A Kathy Ryan Novel)

Beyond the Gate (A Kathy Ryan Novel Book 3)

Kathy Ryan’s work as an occult investigator often leads her to the outskirts of society, law, and even reality…

This is the third book in the Kathy Ryan novels. Kathy Ryan works as an occult investigator and has seen things no one would believe. She is good at what she does and in this next story, she is hired by Paragon Corporation, a government-funded theoretical physics research facility. Someone has intentionally opened a portal to another dimension and found no beings, but some really disturbing flora!

A team of scientists goes in but doesn’t come out. A security team is Kathy and her team will do whatever they must to rescue any survivors and get out fast and close that portal.

These were some seriously sketchy researchers. They doled out information like misers. And they lied. A lot. Because contrary to what they say, this alien flora is able to pass through the portal and lead to chaos and death.

I’ve read the other books in this series. Kathy is a strong leader and her story is an excellent one!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ November 26th, 2019 by Lyrical Press

 

 

Halloween Reading! Serial Killer Time!

Halloween Party Table Decorating Ideas | Apartment Therapy

Happy Halloween! Blessed Samhain! Every one have all of their goodies ready for tonight? Arthur here is ready and waiting. I read so many horror and thriller books that it was difficult to pick a series, but if I had to, it would be this. J.D.Barker and the 4MK Thriller Series. Seven meets Dexter. I love this series and have read them all more than once. So if you just want to buy a giant bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and turn out the lights, snuggle up with one of these babies and play my favorite game… “Hallo-we-ain’t home”.

#BookReview: THE FOURTH MONKEY by J.D. Barker - Quiet Fury Books   The Fifth to Die (eBook)  The Sixth Wicked Child by J.D. Barker

Personally, I will be in the gym. Riding bikes with a book. I bought candy. I ate said candy and now I have to go burn off those calories. Be Safe out there and have a wonderful, spooky Halloween.

xx P

THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS by LISA JEWELL

The Family Upstairs

You thought they were just staying for the weekend. They looked harmless enough – with only two suitcases and a cat in a wicker box. But soon things turn very, very dark. It happens slowly, yet so extraordinarily quickly. Now you and your sister must find a way to survive…

It begins with a text. The baby is back. This psychological thriller was full of some very messed up people. From three different viewpoints, telling the past and present.

It’s been 25 years since the police walked into 16 Cheyne Walk in Chelsea, London to find the bodies of the wealthy Lambs along with an unknown man, laid out in the kitchen, an apparent suicide pact. The children are nowhere to be found. Except for a baby, alive and well in the crib upstairs.

The mansion has stood empty all these years. Until the baby turns 25. Libby has no idea what happened to her parents and siblings. Having been adopted into a loving home. She knew that something would happen on her birthday but had no idea it would be the mansion. Now she wants answers. What happened in this house? And where are the children?

I read this shocker straight through. Talk about a horror show! Any thoughts I had about who was who and what happened were blown out of the water quickly with the ending.

Fast-paced and horrific! It was wonderful!

NetGalley/ November 5th, 2019 Atria

 

 

THE LIES WE TELL BY DEBRA WEBB

The Lies We Tell (The Undertaker's Daughter #2)

THE UNDERTAKER’S DAUGHTER #2  Sometimes the truth will get you killed.

The first book in this series is a novella titled ” The Undertaker’s Daughter”, followed by ” The Secrets We Bury”. Both books are important to the third.

Dr. Rowan Dupont knows death. Living above her family funeral home she shared her home with it. She knew how to embalm a body before most of us had kissed a boy.

Her story begins as she is working with the Nashville police as a psychiatric consultant. She has a nose for killers and in return, they are very interested in her. But when she fails to recognize that someone very close to her is one, she runs home to Winchester, Tennessee. She is still haunted by dreams of her twin sister’s death, her mother’s suicide and the serial killer who followed her home.

Along with her life long pal Chief Billy, who I love, she is trying her best to stay out of the crosshairs of Julian Addington, a prolific serial killer who wants her more than anything. But why? When a body comes into the funeral home with a tattoo of her mother’s name on his back, Rowan knows this means something, she just isn’t sure what. Then the body disappears and the Feds are back to following her around.

This is the main story. Rowan’s fight to find the truth about her sister’s death and her mother’s suicide. Her mothers’ journals are cryptic and full of death. Was she obsessed with serial killers or was she one herself?  As the bodies continue to stack up, nothing makes any sense. And of course, it doesn’t because there is another story inside of the main one.

I would suggest you read the first two books first. Just so you know who all of the players are.  I absolutely love this series and Rowan and Billy need to quit dancing around each other and get together. IMHO.

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/Expected publication: September 17th, 2019 by MIRA